One of the main questions discussed this year is if airlines could refuse compensation to passengers in case they have not kept their boarding pass.
Finally, the long-awaited answer to this is here – on 24th of October 2019, the European Court of Justice has ruled in favor of the passengers who had trouble with delayed flights.
We at ClaimHelp welcomed this decision as we support passengers in getting compensation for their delayed or canceled flights for over 7 years. It puts an end to a debate of several months prompted by three successive decisions of the French Court of Cassation according to which, in order to claim compensation, passengers had to prove that they were present at check-in and at boarding – unfortunately, the usual proof of the reservation was not enough for them. What’s more, the airlines used the Court’s decision to ask passengers for even more evidences.
The young lawyer Joyce Pitcher strongly opposed the French Court of Cassation’s decision and airlines’ behavior in the national courts as they are contrary to the European Union’s law. Therefore, as a result, months later, the Tribunal d’Instance of Aulnay Sous Bois referred the matter to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling. Joyce Pitcher explained that the European Court of Justice’s decision should lead airlines to assume their responsibilities in terms of compensation.
To summarize, the European Court of Justice issued an Order answering the question of evidence that is required to be entitled to compensation – passengers do not have to prove their presence at check-in to obtain the compensation provided for in the European Council Regulation No 261/2004. And what’s more, the European Court of Justice stated that “who have a confirmed reservation for that flight cannot be refused compensation under this Regulation on the sole ground that, in their claim for compensation, they did not prove their presence at check-in for that flight, in particular by means of the boarding pass, unless it is shown that these passengers were not transported on the delayed flight in question, which is for the national court to verify”.
However, passengers with suspended cases pending the decision of the European Court of Justice will resume their course. From 24th of October 2019 on, for future cases, passengers without a boarding pass will no longer have to prove their presence at check-in.